Emmerdale star: Viewers are upset my character’s not a lesbian

Illustrated rainbow pride flag on a pink background.

Emmerdale actress Michelle Hardwick has revealed she had angry messages from fans – after her character started dating a man following a lesbian storyline.

The star plays Vanessa Woodfield on the soap, who had a relationship with Rhona Goskirk (Zoe Henry) before dating current boyfriend Kirin Kotecha (Adam Fielding).

She told Digital Spy: “There are certain people on Twitter that were so upset that Vanessa is not a lesbian after the Rhona story.

“I don’t respond to everyone but what I say is that when Vanessa came into the village, she wasn’t a lesbian.

“She was a free spirit who was quite man mad, eyeing up Andy Sugden at the bar.

“Vanessa fell in love with her best friend who she was helping through a difficult time, and it became more of an obsession.

“Some people would prefer her to be with a woman, but hey ho – let’s mix it up a bit, that’s what I say!”

She added: “I’d love the Vanessa and Kirin relationship to last, but truthfully I don’t know what’s going to happen beyond what we’re doing now.”

Hardwick proposed to her girlfriend in real life on New Year’s Eve, 2013.

The soap pulled a scene in 2013 that mocked a transgender barmaid – after the actress who was set to play her complained about the transphobic script.

Creative director John Whiston said at the time: I wholly agree that including such unchallenged attitudes in Emmerdale is plain wrong.

“It is a huge disappointment to me and to the team that in this instance such unthinking and old-fashioned prejudice should have crept into the show in this way.

“Apparently it was added at a very late stage before filming when the show was in danger of under-running.”